Lagos waste management: Government ineptitude or residential rascality?

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At any time of the day, you see them scampering around in their numbers, happy to live among humans, it seems. Long ago, these hairy animals where seen once in a while on the streets, especially dark corners or around heaps of refuse, but these days, massive well-fed rats are seen strolling down the many streets in Lagos, a clear result from the neglect of the environment, which are paved with heaps of refuse.

On the other hand, swarms of cockroaches also compete with the rats in being more daring, as they are found in cars, on the main roads and every other place. Can it now be said that Lagos, the most populous mega city in West Africa and home to over 20 million inhabitants, is rat-infested and in dire need of rescue, asks OSA VICTOR OBAYAGBONA.

As the rainy season gains momentum in Lagos State, it has become a daily struggle for motorists, commuters and for pedestrians going through most major roads and streets. This is occasioned by the daily heap of garbage, rain waters that can not go into the drains due to the drains filling with excess refuse, push and disperse all over, floating and causing flood after every single rain drop.

For motorists, finding the way through the heaps of pet bottles, unused household items, heaps of flies infested garbage with overfed rats strolling to and fro in them – even in broad daylight, and the drains swarming from sewage some notorious landlords stylishly connected to the main gutters, and the inevitable offensive smell you can not avoid, has become a sad experience many must go through daily.

On August 3, 2017, BusineesDay published a feature story titled: Death in a Mega City, which put the blame of the … Read More...

Insecurity: Inside Bayelsa, South-South’s ‘safest state’

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Ifeanyi was discussing with a female neighbour at Ovom, about two kilometers from Government House, Yenagoa, when some suspected cultists accosted him and despite his plea that he was not a rival cultist, shot him in the stomach; as he ran with blood dripping from the wound, he fell and he was shot again.

The female neighbour looked on in horror at the gory spectacle and was only jolted to reality when the assailants asked her if she would not get away from the scene; she eventually did, but by that time, Ifeanyi lay dead in a pool of his own blood.

In the case of a young man in his late 20s, LoveGod, he was shot along Obele Street during a robbery operation by an armed gang; his case mirrors those of many others, some who were shot and killed simply for the fact that they had no valuables on them.

At the popular Ekeki newsstand, a man recounted the ordeal of a lady who was dispossessed of her handbag and other valuables including cell phone in broad daylight close to Swali Ultra Modern Market.

According to him, some concerned bystanders noticed a police stop-and-search point a short distance away and though they remonstrated with the officers to arrest the situation, they were ignored while “collecting N100 from Keke drivers.”

Perhaps, it would not be out of line to recount my own experience here since I also live and work in Yenagoa and share in the security challenges that have become a recurring issue on a daily basis across all the axes of the state capital.

On Sunday, June 16, 2019, three men left a night vigil somewhere behind the famous Bishop Dimieari Grammar School (BDGS) at about 6.30am and went through a winding shortcut

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Insight into Kula’s OML 25: Another Ogoni explosive scenario coming?

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Introduction

All the ingredients of violence and bloodshed are complete in oil-rich Kula, an island in Rivers State jutting into Atlantic Ocean just like Bonny, Soku (Rivers) and Ekeremor and Brass (Bayelsa). The divisions are sharp and the glimpse of rapprochement, being an agreement coming up on Monday, July 1, 2019, mid-wifed by the state government, may rather be the beginning of a fiercer round of trouble. This is because, the pro-Belemaoil chiefs and youths issued a statement Friday night rejecting the deal, saying they as the majority of Kula people and alleged rightful owners of the oil field were not part of the negotiations.

As was the case in Ogoni before killings started, the Kula people are effectively divided, such that each group led by a ‘king’ is opposed to the other in very deep ways beyond oil. The worse is that Kula has three kings now; King and Amananyabo, Bourdillon Ekine, Oko 28th, and King and Amanyanabo of Kula, Kroma Amabibi Eleki, the Sara 14th. There is also King and Amanyanabo of Opu-Kula, Hope Opusingi. Bourdilon Ekine and Kroma Eleki recently put down their differences and embraced each other after about two decades. They now formed what they term Kula Supreme Council of Chiefs. Now, Opusingi insists he is the rightful king. He has found attention with the Rivers State Government and Shell and Shell.

On the Kula oil field that yields over 44,000 bpd and 105m cfgpd, the Oil Mining License (OML 25), Ekine and other chiefs are on one side (anti-Shell) while Opusingi and a set of chiefs are anti-Belema and so want Shell back.

On political grounds, Opusingi said he is supporting PDP and Gov Nyesom Wike, saying it was the reason why Belemaoil’s CEO was against … Read More...

How lack of proper regulation of yellow buses is subjecting residents to rights violation

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Lagos residents can no longer bear the torture, and rights abuse they suffer from the hands of Yellow Bus operators in their daily commuting activities within the state, so, they are calling on the government to step in with a regulatory framework for Danfo operators.

The transportation system in Lagos State is largely dominated by the unregulated yellow buses popularly called “Danfo”, arguably the most popular commercial shuttle in the metropolis after ‘Molue’, its counterpart, phased out.

While it is difficult to track the financial contributions to the state’s GDP, Danfo buses have been in operation long before the Rapid Bus Transport (BRT) surfaced, and have been helpful, but the modus operandi of the operators continue to pose grave threats to life.

Many residents who spoke with BDSUNDAY, expressed concerns over rights violations, dropping of passengers at unsafe locations, attitudinal issues, and criminal acts such as robbery. They want the government to regulate the sector not only to prevent these incidences, but to monitor and track their operations.

Precious Okpara, a factory worker, told BDSUNDAY that many of the drivers and conductors lack proper communication ethics, and complained of high rates of verbal abuse. “There is verbal abuse from the drivers and they also lack a moral standard of communication.

“Then, there is something they do, they tell you that they are going to Oshodi, and they drop you at nearest convenient bus stop for them, and not for you as a passenger. So you might sometimes have to take extra money for transportation,” she adds.

Speaking on how the lives of citizens are endangered, and people dropped off at unsafe locations, Okpara said two of her colleagues have been robbed and both robberies were carried out by Danfo bus operators.

“Where they dropped her … Read More...

Affront on historical institutions

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The creation of additional four emirate councils from the already existing one emirate in Kano State by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje is an affront on historical institutions.

Although he is not the first governor to have done this, the reasons remain the same in all cases of local council creations– to whittle down the powers of the existing rulers, and to show them that political power is superior to traditional power.

However, this has succeeded in most cases across Nigeria. The military in their high-handedness did not do half of what civilian government has done since the return of Nigeria to civil rule in 1999.

Often, governors who are below performance are threatened when traditional rulers criticise them. They look for ways to show that they are above correction– this appears to be the reason for the development in the ancient city of Kano. The governor knew, such a project could not have been popular in his first term, as the implications could be grave on his political career.

But someone noted that such a decision by a governor to curtail “an overbearing” monarch, “is not new in Nigeria, even during the colonial era.”

But history students say that the above assertion is not altogether correct.

In the colonial era, what happened in the Benin Kingdom is far from what is happening now. Then, it was an external colony using a superior force of power (the force of the guns) to suppress the peaceful coexistence, but with less military power, of some rural institutions. Today, a subject rises up to destabilise an already existing institution that precedes his forefathers because of quest to grab political power.  

Going down memory lane, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi (who ruled 1888-1897) was the ba (king) of the Kingdom of Benin Read More...